Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Bloglull December 29, 2010

Filed under: berries,blogging,flora,summer,veggies — greenwalks @ 3:04 pm
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My garden blog buddy Jordan of Metropolitan Gardens (check out his incredible blog if you haven’t already) said the other day that he noticed Greenwalks has been “in a bit of a lull” lately. That was a rather kind way, I thought, to point out the obvious, which is that I had basically abandoned it, and indeed all of garden blogland, since the end of last spring.

Why did I stop? Many reasons:  life challenges, lack of time, feeling like I had nothing novel or of interest to say or show, the usual. Did I miss it? Yep. Did I feel bad for just trailing off without explanation? Kind of. But here’s the weird thing – after two years (okay, not quite) of frequent posts and obsessive tagging, a ghost trail of Greenwalks still exists out there in Web land and the clicks didn’t completely stop. I did miss the comments and the nice exchanges with fellow bloggers, though, and maybe there will be a time when I am able to come back to this world more regularly, since it has been so fun to be a part of.

In the meantime, Greenwalks will probably stay in its unofficial lull. I hope to be back eventually, but for now will leave you with the last images I uploaded to my Flickr account at the end of summer – a bit of warmth on a day where snowflakes are floating down from the Seattle skies.

Cheers and Happy New Year to all, and may your gardens grow well this coming year!

Northgate Community Center Planters

Well-composed planters outside the Northgate Community Center. Lots of kids zipping around the next-door playground, but the pottery and flowers are intact. Miraculous!

Blueberry trio

Sum total of our blueberry harvest this year. I moved the bushes to a sunnier spot, so maybe next year we’ll get a few more?!?!

Green bean first harvest

The green beans are reliable performers in our small veggie garden. We enjoyed these within about 10 minutes of picking them!

Late summer harvest

Our harvests will never tip the scales, but it’s nice to have a little something fresh every day from the garden. The end of the snap peas (planted super late, but then a bumper crop since the summer was cool), some cherry tomatoes, basil (rescued from the jr. gardener, who usually eats every leaf before I can snip any!) and chives for three-onion risotto.

Favorite sunflower

Last but not least, my favorite volunteer Mexican sunflower of the summer. I haven’t planted these for years, they just keep coming up in my parking strip veggie patch! Every year, the colors are slightly different. I wonder what colors will show their faces this coming year?


Newness April 5, 2010

Filed under: blogging,flora — greenwalks @ 10:30 am
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Part of living in this age is deciding whether to keep up with advances in technology. I am usually a laggard, and the adoption of a “smart phone” was no different. However, 5+ years after they were invented, here I am, typing away with one very slow finger.

Since there is nothing more boring than hearing about someone’s new gadget, I will say nothing more on the subject, but did want to try posting this way to see how it works. The allure of easy photo uploads is the main reason for the attempt. If I try it again, the typing will have to be much shortenened!

This spring, I fell for a new (to me) plant, Erythronium. It is going to the top of my list for next fall’s bulb sale! For now, I will just admire others’.

Erythronim at the Center for Urban Horticulture, Seattle.


One-Year Blog Scorecard August 8, 2009

Filed under: blogging — greenwalks @ 11:35 am
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Oh, the hubris of the newbie. Well, I probably still fall into that category, but on this one-year anniversary of the first post here (or anywhere, for that matter), I thought I’d look back to the beginning and see how I’ve upheld my mini-manifesto.

So, let’s take it point by point…

“Here are some things I hope this blog will be:

  • a place to look at photos of cool parking strip gardens in Seattle and wherever else I can find them
  • OK, I started out thinking this would be all I would do. Then I worried it was too boring, so I started interspersing other topics. Then I felt bad about that, so I put a few more on-topic posts back in, then I gave up on finding the perfect balance and just started writing whatever I felt like. I admire those who can stick to a single topic, I guess I’m just not one of them.

  • inspiration for folks who want to rip out their boring old matted grass or hideous groundcover on the street and plant something more interesting
  • Well, I have yet to hear from an actual convert, but if you have a story to share on that account, please do! I’m still working on my neighbors… And I do love to show what people have done with this little part of the public/private interface, so I hope that at least one person has gotten an idea they could adapt or use for their own place.

  • a forum for sharing stories and tips about tilling that narrow patch of ground between the street and the sidewalk
  • Again, not sure I have achieved this but a few of you have shared sightings or linked to posts you did about street gardens (and I know I was not the first to start noticing them, for sure!) so that has been fun. Keep ’em coming!

  • a discussion of street gardening philosophies (whom does it belong to: the city? the gardener? the neighborhood? passersby? all of the above?)                                                                                                                                         

I could do better here. Seattle recently changed its regulations about strip gardens to include more flexibility  and fewer needed permits and fees. I hope other cities will either follow suit or are already there. A project I keep meaning to get to is contacting the entities in charge for some major cities and finding out what the current scoop is, then putting the info here as a centralized resource. Maybe in the fall! I’ve heard lots more conversation about the hows and whats rather than the whys and ifs lately,  so that seems like a good trend.

“Here’s what it won’t be:

  • me bragging about my adorable garden and telling you how to make one just like it (trust me, once you see photos, you will understand)
  • Uh huh. Well, I sincerely hope there hasn’t been much bragging. Maybe a little fond admiring, or stunned surprise when something looks half-decent.  Mostly I’m just kind of embarrassed about my garden so only try to share a few close-ups or the frequent semi-tragic failures.

  • Master Gardener-level plant advice (I’m just an enthusiast, not an expert.)
  • Yes, we can all agree here, I’m no sage. However, I have met many of you here who are, and your comments and advice are always so useful and appreciated. I feel like I’ve gone back to school, only from home and for free, with much nice teachers and only self-directed homework.

  • a lot of off-topic posts about my life
  • Oh dear, failed on this one. It’s hard to resist sometimes. My kid is kind of the ultimate garden ornament, when she chooses to be still enough to capture on pixels. Plus, she is an enthusiastic, if somewhat Godzilla-like, presence in the garden. Always up for whatever I have the patience to invite her to do. I hope I haven’t gone too far overboard with the kid pics. I try not to, although I always enjoy others’ so this is not meant as any criticism!

Truly, I can’t say enough how much this goofy little endeavor has brought to my life in terms of enrichment – I have met so many cool people, either virtually or in real life, through this medium and although at times it has felt like a bit of a burden to keep up with it all, overall it’s been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done. How’s that for hyperbole! But, it’s true. Plus, it’s kept my eyes open to all the possibilities that streetside gardens can hold, even when they’re not yet planted.

Thank you to everyone who’s been along for even a little bit of this ride so far. I am pretty blown away by what an awesome community the garden blogging world has turned out to be, and I look forward to the next year of shared information, opinions, joys and sorrows, and whatever any of us choose to do with our physical and virtual tilth.

My late-July street garden